has us in denial
doubt the power of denial.
Theres a country-western song about a woman who
cant believe her husband is cheating on her despite
obvious evidence. The title is the Queen of De
Sometimes you want to believe something so badly that
to listen to anything otherwise is akin to blasphemy
no matter what the facts say.
The nation is in that kind of denial about the pledge
We want to believe that the words under God
a phrase that means so much to so many
in the pledge of allegiance are constitutional. Why
would someone want to remove under God from the pledge?
What direction is this country headed in?
As a Christian, I would like under God to
stay. But an honest examination of the phrases
history shows that it is blatantly unconstitutional.
When the original pledge was written by a Baptist preacher
in the late 19th century, it did not include the phrase.
There is even some debate whether the late Francis Bellamy
would have objected to under God being inserted
into the pledge. He was something of a radical who once
delivered a sermon called Jesus the Socialist.
Those who think the phrase is constitutional argue that
it is meant as a symbolic reference to our nations
religious heritage. The irony is that the authors of
under God would likely disagree.
It was added in 1954, during the height of the Red Scare
and McCarthyism. The Knights of Columbus and other religious
groups pushed for the change, which was meant to differentiate
the United States from the godless Communists.
A House Judiciary Committee report said that including
God would acknowledge the dependence of our people
and our government upon the moral direction of the Creator
and deny the atheistic and materialistic concepts
The man who introduced the resolution, Sen. Homer Ferguson,
R-Mich, said, I believe this modification of the
pledge is important because it highlights one of the
real fundamental differences between the free world
and the Communist world, namely belief in God.
by the words of those who authored the change, the modification
was an intentional endorsement of religion something
the high court has repeatedly ruled government cannot
There is a very real difference between putting In
God we trust on coins and reciting the pledge,
and that concerns the very nature of the pledge itself.
The definition of a pledge is a solemn binding
promise to do, give, or refrain from doing something,
according to dictionary.com.
A pledge is a statement of devotion. There is very little
doubt this nation would not tolerate a pledge asking
us to devote ourselves to one nation under Allah, or
Buddha, or Satan.
Some may counter that children are not forced to recite
the pledge in schools; that was ruled unconstitutional
in Minersville School District v. Gobitis in 1940. But
they werent forced to recite school prayers either
in Township v. Schempp, in which the high court ruled
unconstitutional an optional prayer.
Atheists, Jehovahs Witnesses and students of other
beliefs face inherent social pressure to recite something
they do not believe in. Young children usually arent
aware of their rights and are unlikely to exercise
them when faced with the befuddled stares and possible
taunting of young classmates.
Traditionalists like to say that this country was founded
by Godly, religious men. But it was also
founded by members of religious minorities who fled
persecution in Europe. It was clearly the intent of
the Founding Fathers to protect such minorities.
When other arguments supporting the pledges constitutionality
fail, some supporters like to go ad hominem, personally
attacking those with whom they disagree. I will undoubtedly
get e-mails calling me un-Christian or accusing me of
trying to purge religion entirely from schools.
In the end, the pledge debate comes down to basic honesty.
We can either admit something plainly obvious, or lie
And I see nothing Godly about lying to ourselves.
in Chief Brandon Ortiz is a senior news-editorial journalism
major from Fort Worth.